I have mentioned many times that my brother is a very good cook. He is a perfectionist. Whenever he cooks, he follows the elaborate method and comes up with absolutely yummy dishes. He almost never takes shortcuts. When I started cooking, I used to concentrate more on fast cooking because I am a very impatient cook. I understood the meaning of proper cooking only after moving to US. I had a lot of free time, so I would cook slowly. Now that I have got a hang of it, I can comfortably do same thing very fast. But my brother still has my old picture in his mind. Why am I saying all this? Read on….
He has been preparing this gravy for almost 5 years now. No matter how many times he prepares, it comes out great with the same taste. This is not my aayi’s recipe, so none of us know from where he learnt it. He didn’t tell any of us about the origin of the recipe. When we asked for the recipe, he would always laugh and keep quiet. Aayi told me recently that he had cooked this for them and she loved it. So I sent him a mail asking for this. I get some special concession and I get to know secret ingredients because of this blog. I had little hopes of getting this recipe but within few days, he had sent it to me. Yayyy :)… As usual, it was a hit.
Along with the recipe, I got a piece of advice – “Preferably do not take any shortcuts in this recipe as lazy people can never be good cooks”. See those bold letters?. Elder brothers can get too bossy sometimes. But I got some concession there too, he said “You can rephrase and write this in your own words”. This surely is a winner recipe.
2 cups chopped spinach(palak)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup potato chopped into big cubes
1/4 tea spn ginger paste
1/4 tea spn garlic paste
1/4 cup tomato pieces
A pinch turmeric
1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut
4 green chilies
1/2 cup toor dal
1″ tamarind or 1/4 tea spn tamarind extract
1/2 tea spn coriander seeds
Cook dal and spinach with a pinch of turmeric and a drop of oil in pressure cooker. Ensure that spinach is not completely soaked in water. Water should be only for dal and not spinach. Also make sure dal is at the bottom and spinach is above that in the vessel. (I prefer to use two separate vessels – one for dal with turmeric, oil and second for spinach. Vessel with dal is kept at the bottom in the cooker and spinach one at the top).
Heat a little oil and fry ginger, garlic and onions. Use fresh ginger-garlic, they give better taste than the ready made ginger-garlic paste. Add potatoes. Close the lid and let them cook, stir occasionally. When the onions turn slightly brownish, add tomatoes.
Heat a little oil in a separate vessel and fry coriander seeds. Grind them with green chilies, tamarind and coconut.
Add the ground paste and cooked dal-spinach to onion mixture along with required amount of water and cook till done. Add salt to taste.
Serve hot with rice.
Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 20-30mins